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I had a great time at the WWETT Show this year, mostly because of the people I met.

There were more than 13,000 attendees at this year’s show. I met less than 1 percent of them, and I still had enough great conversations to fuel Cleaner for the next year.

One of the things I really enjoy over the course of the year is seeing everything from the show come to life in the pages of this magazine, from new insights to tools and equipment, and, of course, the people. Regardless of whether you were able to attend the show, you’ll be able to share my experiences in future issues.

One of those experiences was meeting Doyle Parsons, a plumber and drain cleaner from Ball, Louisiana. Doyle woke up one Monday morning after two years of hurricane relief work in New Orleans and decided to start his own business to better provide for his family. He had no tools or equipment, no service van and no customers. So he picked up the phone and started making calls. He went out and met potential customers. On Tuesday, he had 10 hours of work.

That was 10 years ago. In 2016, Parsons Plumbing, Heating & Cooling generated $1.8 million in revenue and donated a significant portion to local charities. It’s a success story you’ll be reading more about in a future issue.

I also met Chuck Lang, owner of CST Utilities in Grove City, Ohio. His father started Chuck’s Septic Tank Service in 1970, and as the company evolved to include more services, the name changed to CST. It’s still a family company — Chuck and his dad, Chuck Sr., were both at the show along with Chuck’s wife and kids.

CST has built a massive fleet of trucks and equipment. The entire fleet is wrapped with graphics, and everything is tracked with GPS. Chuck was showing me where various operators were and what they were doing back in Ohio as we stood and talked on the show floor. It was impressive, and so is the range of projects CST and its sister companies handle on a daily basis.

And then there was Bill Shuster, a young New Jersey plumber with a desire to provide community education opportunities and help kids get into the trades. We met at the Industry Appreciation Party, had a beer together and talked about everything from drain cleaning to education to tattoos. He’s got a great story to tell, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

In the middle of my conversation with Bill, another drain cleaner came up to introduce himself. It was one of the shortest conversations I had, but it was probably the most rewarding. Ben Smith of Marvel Sewer and Drain in Fridley, Minnesota, shook my hand and introduced himself simply to say reading Cleaner has changed his life. He started his business shortly after I took the reins of the magazine, and he credited Cleaner with helping him create his own success.

That’s why I do what I do. That’s the payoff. It made my whole trip to Indy.

Enjoy this month’s issue.


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